Sustainability a vital part of corporate social responsibility

Sustainability in business is no longer something that is “nice to have” but is now a “must-have”, more than 150 business attendees heard at Cork Chamber’s monthly business breakfast today, writes Padraig Hoare.

Newly-elected Chamber president Bill O’Connell said that sustainability had become a vital part of corporate social responsibility and that it was imperative for companies in the modern age of doing business.

CEO of Musgrave, Chris Martin and vice president and general manager of Janssen Supply Chain Ireland (Ringaskiddy and Little Island), Kyran Johnson outlined how their companies had instilled the culture of sustainability.

Cork Chamber partnered with Business in the Community for its May business breakfast in association with the Irish Examiner at the Clayton Hotel, Cork City. In attendance were (from left) Kyran Johnson, general manager, Janssen, speaker; Aidan Forde, senior advertising manager, Irish Examiner & Evening Echo; Bill O’Connell, president, Cork Chamber; Moira Horgan, marketing manager, BITC, and Chris Martin, CEO, Musgrave Group, speaker. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Mr Martin said with 1,500 independent retailers and thousands of restaurateurs linked to the company, Musgrave was committed to sustainability rather than quick returns at the expense of the community and environment.

Many retailers were third and fourth generation members of the community and were conscious of their role within it, hence a desire towards cleaner and sustainability, he added.

Now was the time and place for businesses to commit to sustainability, he said.

“This is not just for Cork but for Ireland,” he said.

Mr Johnson said the credo of Janssen historically was towards employees and community, and to the shareholders after that. Instilling values and behaviour with the community in mind has become an expectation for the company, he said.

The culture concentrated on not just what the results were, but also how the company got there, he added.

International sustainability expert Mallen Baker pointed to Tesla’s Elon Musk as a business leader who recognised that the motor industry had to be sustainable.

Now, he said, all the other motor companies were following suit in the electric models.


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